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Fiduciary pioneer backs local renaissance

NETHERLANDS - The pioneer of fiduciary asset management in the Netherlands has claimed local providers are catching up with international rivals in the field.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management and BlackRock already have between them in excess of €30bn in pension fund assets under fiduciary management.

But Dr Anton van Nunen, founder and chief executive officer of Tilburg-based Van Nunen & Partners, said that Mn Services, Interpolis, TKP and AZL and others were now challenging the major global players.

Fiduciary management, according to van Nunen, requires the provider to work on pension fund management from the ALM and setting of a risk budget all the way through to the reporting of investment returns.

He was bearish on the ability of third-party consultancies to do all these activities.
This spring Van Nunen is publishing a book on the topic which he claims to have pioneered in 2001.

"Then one Dutch asset manager told me I was nuts. The global houses are in the lead now because they listened back then and reformulated their operations to accommodate fiduciary management," he said.

This year already Goldman Sachs Asset Management announced a new fiduciary mandate for €700m from health insurer, CZ.

TKP has won almost €5bn from KPN and Aon. Van Nunen sees such local players responding strongly and said it would be an overreaction to claim that skills were disappearing from the Dutch houses.

He predicted that more corporates would look to 'sell' their pension liabilities to commercial providers because of the onus of new accounting standards. He also said that fiduciary managers should not dissuade themselves from appointing specialist teams of an associated company.

"If you do your best as a fiduciary manager and the best US small cap manager shares the same brand as you, you ought to select that manager," said van Nunen. He believed this to be more important than avoiding conflicts of interest.

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